The Loop

The Loop spans 131 miles across Tucson, South Tucson, Marana and Oro Valley. It was officially deemed complete in March, but parts of it have existed for as long as 35 years. The Loop “draws a large grouping of people. To provide something that can be used by everyone is unique,” says Suzanne Shields, director of the Pima County Regional Flood Control District.

On a party-line vote, Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the renaming of the massive paved county bike system the Chuck Huckelberry Loop.

That followed an April recommendation from the Pima County Parks and Recreation Commission and a letter from the Pima County Loop Advisory Committee supporting the change.

“From the time of the worst floods, in 1983, Mr. Huckelberry managed approximately $500 million in transportation and flood control capital improvements of what is now The Loop,” a letter from the parks commission reads. “It is through his vision that The Loop became a reality for all residents to enjoy.”

A 55-mile circuit that rings much of metro Tucson was connected earlier this year, making The Loop an actual loop. The network is one of the largest cars-free paved bike paths in the country, stretching as far north as Catalina State Park and as far south as Valencia Road along the Santa Cruz River.

Supervisors Ally Miller, Steve Christy and Richard Elías weren’t entirely comfortable with the change, and the first two voted against it.

“I just think it’s totally inappropriate, because he is still the county administrator, still working for Pima County,” Miller said. “I think it sends a bad message.”

Supervisor Sharon Bronson noted that neither the board nor Huckelberry had asked for the change, and the board was simply responding to a commission’s recommendation.

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